Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." -- Revelation 22:13
Jesus had a lot of titles in the Bible. Some were put on Him by others, but many of them Jesus gave Himself. There is a difference between a name and a title.
There are more than150 titles for Jesus in the New Testament. However, this article focuses on just two of those titles: the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus refers to Himself by the titles in four places in the Book of Revelation. In most versions of the Bible, Jesus did not say He was Alpha and Omega. He specifically said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega." By saying it that way, Jesus specifically put emphasis on "the" that indicates that He is more than just any beginning and any ending.
- Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega.
- Jesus is the beginning and the ending.
The Apostle John quotes Jesus as saying “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” Each time, the title is followed by an explanatory phrase, such as “the first and the last” and “the beginning and the end.”
- Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
- Revelation 1:17 - "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last."
- Revelation 21:6 - "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
- Revelation 22:13 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."
Letters of the Greek Alphabet
Greek is the original language of the New Testament. Alpha is the first letter. Omega is the last letter. When Jesus called Himself the Alpha and the Omega, He was saying, "I am the A and the Z." He also lets us know that He is the first and the last, as well as the beginning and the end.
So, if He is the beginning and the end and the first and the last, it stands to reason that He is also everything in between. Those titles are recognized by many Christians to mean that Jesus has existed for all eternity and will continue to exist for all eternity. This is only true about God's Son, and Jesus is the only one who can make that claim.
Know that Jesus is not limiting Himself to just letters of the Greek alphabet. He is absolutely the beginning and absolutely the end. Everything originates with Him, everything ends with Him, and everything in between is with Him.
Even though the original language of the Old Testament is Hebrew, Isaiah ascribes this aspect of Jesus’ nature as part of the triune God in several Old Testament scriptures.
- “I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last I am He” (Isaiah 41:4).
- “I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me, there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).
- “I am he; I am the first, I also am the last” (Isaiah 48:12).
Those scriptures indicate the eternal nature of the Godhead. Notice they are in the Old Testament before Jesus was born in the flesh.
The Alpha and the Omega
Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega in His eternal nature, His role in creation, His role in the universe, and His role in His fulfillment as the Messiah. Jesus has always existed, and He always will exist. He was the beginning and He will be the end.
Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last in so many ways. He is the “author and finisher” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), signifying that He begins it and carries it through to completion. Unlike some of us, Jesus finishes everything He starts. We can count on that. On the cross, Jesus said, "It is finished" because His work on earth was complete.
The Alpha and the Omega are titles of honor. No one on earth can make that claim.
When I told a friend I was preaching about the Alpha and the Omega, he excitedly said, "Oh, I'm an Alpha." Then I proceeded to ask him if he were an Omega as well. Of course, the answer was "No!" That's because he wouldn't belong to two Greek fraternities. Only Jesus is both: the Alpha and the Omega.
The Alpha and the Omega are titles indicating a pledge and a promise. When Jesus said He was the Alpha and the Omega, He was pledging to us and promising us that He is all we need. We don't need to send for another because Jesus has already come and done what was required of Him.